A/N: Yeah, this is AU so just go with it. This takes place in 1993, for larger time frame, so that means Tate is sixteen, Violet is fifteen. Everything else will be explained as it goes along. There's no "Murder House", just fucked up people.
The first time he sees her is out in the school courtyard, cigarette smoke billowing from her nostrils like a furious dragon. He is surprised at himself for noticing her. He doesn't normally notice people, he only observes them as a child would an insect; from a distance and with a detached repulsion.
But unlike the rest of their peers, she doesn't creep or crawl, or try to blend in with her surroundings. She marches upright, insolent and fierce, through the crowd, her light brown hair whipping about the rim of her bowler hat like a lion's mane.
In truth she looks ridiculous. Her dress is too frilly and old fashioned to be worn with stripy socks and converse. She doesn't inhale properly either. Her small lips suck and puff furiously on the filter like it is a hookah pipe rather than a cigarette. However, he gets the impression that it is all deliberate rather than try-hard, she is not trying to emulate anybody.
He is not the only one to notice her. It is not long before she is apprehended by a valley girl in a short pleated skirt with a personal vendetta against cigarettes. As things quickly begin to turn ugly between them, he stays to see if her ferocity will last, or if it will break and fade beneath the intimidation techniques of a girl twice her social stature and size.
But when she spits in the face of her attacker, laughs, and with a twirl, goes running into the crowd away from the girl, something in the depths of the darkness inside of him, flickers into life.
The first time he speaks to her is in the library.
It is she who sits down opposite him, although she does not register his presence, absorbed as she is by the works of Byron.
The pretentiousness of her reading choice is not lost on him. He wonders if she is the type of girl to scorn the works of Plath and Salinger just because they are the particular favourites of their peers? Or if, like him, she needs darker, older words to appease the wicked monsters in her soul?
At first he goes with the former, it's hard to believe that someone so fearless can be plagued by darkness. It seems impossible, that is until she lifts her hand up to support her chin, and the lacy cuff of her sleeve falls down to reveal an angry score of puckered red and silver lines on her slender wrist.
All in an instant she becomes vulnerable.
It is not a weakness he despises. He is intrigued, curious to know what form her monsters take. Do they whisper in her ear in soothing tongues? Or are they raw and rabid like the demons who scream inside his own head? His own monsters are not the self loathing and depressed boogie men allocated to the lonely hours of adolescence. They give him dreams and thoughts, bad thoughts. The type of thoughts that eventually drove the cocksucker and Larry to send him to a psychiatrist for fear that he might act on them.
Eventually his blatant stare catches her attention. She snatches her arm back, hiding it under the table, but she does not pack her bag and flee like he expects her too. She simply stares back at him, eyes hard in an unspoken challenge as if she's daring him to judge her. He rises to it with an arrogant smirk and with a shrug, pulls up his sleeve and lays down his own battle scars on the table between them for her to inspect.
His scars are not pretty like hers but jagged and ruthless, as though the flesh has been ravaged by a wild animal. They are his prize, his victory over the demons and every time he looks at them, he cannot help but swell with pride. As she draws her gaze over his skin, her expression flickers from hostility to confusion, and then a spark of interest ignites her eyes.
"If you don't want anyone to know, you should cut lower down," His tone is casual, conceited even, but he feels anything but. He wants to impress her, he's never wanted to impress anyone before. "It doesn't give the same thrill as your wrists though. You never get that same rush from knowing that you might slice too deep."
Her lips part in a soft 'o' as she continues to stare at him, now with open interest. She's hanging on his every word, and he loves it. He relishes it. He has conquered where others have not; he is able to leave her speechless.
He quickly covers the marks as the Librarian walks by, but they continue to eye each other up like a pair of cautious animals. It is not for fear of attack, more out of curiosity. They are similar and yet so very different.
Once the man is gone, he speaks to her again, this time in a lower voice. "Do you know why you cut?"
"To feel?" Her voice is soft, just like the shape of her mouth and the curve of her jaw.
His lips curl. It's such a simple, naïve answer. One given by someone who cannot fully comprehend the power of their emotions. "Doctors used to bleed people while they were ill to release the bad, infected blood. It was called bloodletting."
She scoffs and makes a show of rolling her eyes. "So you're saying that we do it just to release the badness? Bullshit."
But she is impressed, he can see it. A part of him decides that he wants to keep impressing her, so that he can hear her inject that extra added bite of cynicism into her voice.
He smiles. "Why do you think you feel so good when you do it?"
The first time the monsters comes out on her behalf, is after he witnesses her being thrown to the ground by three girls in the canteen.
He does not interfere at the time, mostly because he fears what he will do on impulse. He needs to plan carefully, there are too many witnesses and besides, so far the library is the only place where they openly acknowledge one another's existence. He still doesn't know her name.
So he contents himself with watching her defend herself alone. She fights back amiably, all snarls and elbows. She even stabs the ringleader in the hand with a cigarette butt. Finally the jeers from the watching crowd grabs the attention of a nearby teacher, and she manages to flee to fight another day. Once he is completely certain that she is gone and that she has not seen him, he quietly takes himself off to the Senior girls' toilets and hides himself away in an "out of order" cubical to wait.
The bells for class and recess come and go, sneakers squeak in the corridor as the herds shuffle from room to room. He does not mind, if he has any admirable qualities at all, his patience is limitless.
Before the second last period is over, the ringleader arrives in the toilet by herself. He is relieved by this, it makes it so much easier for him not to have to deal with witnesses just so he can get to the main prize.
He creeps up behind her as she rummages through her bag frantically. So absorbed in her task is she, she fails to spot him approaching her in the mirror. It is only when he has her by the mouth and arm, and about halfway towards the open door of the broken toilet cubical, does she begin to struggle.
It is a pathetic attempt. He has her arm bent at such an angle that one wrong move on her part could snap it in two and every time she tries to bite his hand, he kicks her hard in the back of the knee. Her muffled cries reach a frantic pitch as she stares, revolted, down into the bunged up bowl of water, piss, shit and bloody period saturated toilet paper. He doesn't even give her time to scream before he shoves her face first into it and pushes down the leaver. People like her don't deserve such a courtesy.
It takes roughly two to three minutes before a person goes unconscious after being held underwater. To be on the safe side, he holds her down for two and hopes that she had the brains enough to take a deep breath beforehand.
Once the time limit is up, it takes every last bit of his willpower just to pull her head back out of the toilet bowl.
At first she doesn't react, her eyes are closed, her face is frozen with fear. Then a sharp shove against the wall and she springs back to life, gasping and choking as her need for oxygen collides with her desire to get sick. He grins as the vomit and toilet water bubble from her mouth and down the front of her cashmere sweater. Her back shakes, there's a puddle of urine between her legs; she's terrified. It's all gone swimmingly, but he isn't finished with her, not yet, not until he makes one thing absolutely clear.
She flinches away as he bends down on his haunches so that his eyes are level with hers. There's shit smeared on her forehead, vomit caked onto her lips. She's frightened of him, of what he might do. He won't do anything else, no matter how tempting it is. No matter how much he wants to... At least, not unless she gives him a reason to.
"If you ever go near her again; I'll drown you for real."
He doesn't need her name for the girl to know who he is talking about. He doesn't need to tell her what will happen to her if she tries to snitch on him either. This one terrifying, humiliating moment will forever remain a secret between the two of them.
He then leaves her, panting and sobbing on the tiled floor as he makes his escape through a window.
To be continued...
A/N: So admittedly I was a little over excited about finishing this and probably have not gone over it as carefully as I should have to check for mistakes. I will fix it in the coming days however. Because this is an AU, I wanted to start it off with situations you are familiar with from Canon, and then I will diverge into my own story from the next chapter onwards.